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Attempted L5 pars defect repair

Hey, I am 18 years old and I have had a pars defect the right side of my L5 since I was about 14. I have been playing basket ball since I was little and noticed this pain when I was in 8th grade. First, it was very localized in my lower back and not too severe, but as I "pushed through" the "strain" it quickly got worse. I didn't stop activity until I had severe pain running down my leg and I was unable to get out of bed for a few days. After that, I had tons of X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans until they finally found the defect. They told me to rest for 6 weeks because these defects usually heal themselves, but as you can guess, it didn't heal. Then I tried physical therapy for a few months, which didn't help and I went back to PT a few times after. I tried wearing a back brace all the time, which didn't help either. I tried going to a chiropractor, who didn't help. Then I saw a pain management doctor who ended up giving me 3 steroid injections and one Platelet-rich plasma injection. When none of that worked I went to see a Neurosurgeon who chose to put a screw through the fracture instead of fusing my spine. That was probably 4 months ago and I am still having pain.
Has anyone had this procedure done? And if you have, did it work? Is the pain I am feeling just post-surgery pain or is it a sign that the surgery didn't work? I have had a lot of disappointment from different procedures that were supposed to help and it is really hard to deal with. I tried walking a few miles twice a week like my doctor told me to and the pain soon came back and was down my leg. Please help, I'm getting really tired of the continuous disappointment and I am about to go into my senior year of high school and would really like to be able to play basketball.


  • Did you have an MRI and find any herniated discs?
    If so, did they clean up the herniated disc(s) during your surgery?
  • especially spine surgery. And I'm pretty sure that the surgeon didn't mean take miles long walks twice a week, he meant to take shorter walks every day, several times per day to build up your strength and endurance again. Physical therapy might be helpful to help you strengthen your core muscles and get more mobile without increasing the pain.
    Recovery is a process, and one that takes time and work to get through......
  • vclugovvclugo Posts: 1
    edited 01/17/2016 - 9:07 AM
    My son had bilateral pars repair surgery on November 20th using the hook and rod technique. The surgeon also took a bone graft from his posterior iliac crest. He spent 3 days in the hospital and was able to return to school after 6 weeks for shortened days. He will begin completing almost full days at school beginning this week- 2 months post op. He is doing remarkably well and has only taken tylenol ever since leaving the hospital. We are increasing his walking daily and he is so thankful not to have the constant pain and discomfort that he had before surgery when he attempted any activity.

    We exhausted all options prior to surgery for one year- bracing, physical therapy, rest. If you research you will find that in bilateral pars fractures if they are not diagnosed very early on, they have a very low rate of healing. The doctor mentioned the reason he could not heal was because he had a build up of scar tissue on each fracture site that had to be cleaned out prior to putting in the bone graft.

    This is an old thread, the original poster has not been on the forum for more than one year

    I suggest you Create a new thread

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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator
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